Sunday, December 07, 2003

Milly and Ann

Every morning, same time every day, Ann and Milly come to visit me in my office. Their classrooms are upstairs but they make the trip, for about ten minutes or so, to spend some time with me in the office every single day.

Ann strokes my beard. Milly hangs on my shoulder. They look about and ask me, “What’s this?”….”What’s this?” The two of them using every English word they’ve learned….Finally resorting to trying to teach me Mandarin.

I’ve taken to getting my work done early so I’m ready for them, giving them my undivided attention.

These two girls, along with the other bunch of students who are all so special to me, make this international venture worth it for me. If it were not for the kids, I’d never have made it here.

Milly speaks English well and she gets better day-by-day.

She’s like a sponge, soaking up English and wanting more. Ann, however, is Chinese to the core. Her pronunciation is lacking but she tries hard. She gets frustrated and shakes her head, her long ponytails swinging about, knocking down anything in their path.

Today, Milly asked me if I was happy. I turned towards her, cupped her pretty face in my hands and told her, “Yes, because of you, I am happy!!”

I’m not sure if she understood but she and Ann both smiled and said, “We love Jim!”

My God…my heart couldn’t take much more.

This is the reason I’m here. This is what I’m looking for.



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